Multicultural Education Past, Present, and Future: Struggles for Dialog and Power-Sharing


  • Christine E. Sleeter CSU Monterey Bay



multicultural education, neoliberalism, dialog, power-sharing, intercultural education


Using Kymlicka’s analysis of conflicts between “imperatives of state control” and “objectives of social movements,” I draw on my experiences with multicultural education to extrapolate some trends from the past and present that may inform the future. After briefly describing the origins of multicultural education (mainly within the United States), I situate struggles over education in the context of the global expansion of neoliberalism, critique “neoliberal multicultural education,” then briefly describe some efforts that push back. This essay concludes with four recommendations for moving forward.

Author Biography

Christine E. Sleeter, CSU Monterey Bay

Christine E. Sleeter, PhD. (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1982) is Professor Emerita in the College of Professional Studies at California State University Monterey Bay, where she was a founding faculty member. Formerly a high school learning disabilities teacher in Seattle, she had also been a faculty member at Ripon College in Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, as well as a visiting scholar in several universities, including Victoria University in New Zealand, and at the University of Maine. She served as Vice President of Division K (Teaching and Teacher Education) of the American Educational Research Association. Her research focuses on anti-racist multicultural education, ethnic studies, and multicultural teacher education. She has published over 120 articles in edited books and journals such as Journal of Teacher Education and Teaching and Teacher Education. Her recent books include Unstandardizing Curriculum (with J. Flores Carmona, Teachers College Press) and White Bread (SensePublishing). She has been invited to speak in most U.S. states as well as several countries.




How to Cite

Sleeter, C. E. (2018). Multicultural Education Past, Present, and Future: Struggles for Dialog and Power-Sharing. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 20(1), 5–20.